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Balestrate which is 14 km. far from river Jato, has a simple town-planning based upon orthogonal streets and lots of land perpendicular to coast. But from them it is clear the linearity typical of harmonious Arabic buildings.
Also the Calatubo Castle perfectly penetrates town impression because of its square profiles which are free from architectonic refinement.
The building dates back to VIII and IX centuries and has same peculiarities of a fortress which rises on a cliff and overlooks little town. It has boundary walls (now only few ruins are visible) which follows an irregular triangular movement and a front 250 meters high with two square-shaped towers on sides. Inside the Castle there is a court-yard where others two towers are distinguished but smaller than the others two.
From the inside it can be a suggestive sight which gets to below countries immersed in green Mediterranean flora.
Written Sep 3, 2005
"La Batia" is a special restaurant. We discover it thanks to a colleague of mine who took us there on a summer evening. The restaurant is called "La Batia" because is in an ex-monastery for nuns.
The restaurant is located in the immediate suburbs of Alcamo ( distance from Balestrate = 1o minutes by car), is made of five different rooms all air-conditioned and it has a large private parking place.
The food is home-made and they always have fresh fish. The resturant is also pizzeria and they have a list with 40 different kinds of pizza's baked in a traditional wood stove.
The service at the table is alway accurate and friendly, but I advice you to avoid going there on Saturdays as the place is completely full with Italians and there's difficult to get the attention you will otherwise have.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish is "grigliata mista di pesce" which is based on the fresh fish they have, prepared on a grill.
In the autumn you can also enjoy game dishes with a particular flavor.
The wine list is also very large offering a selection of the local wines ( bianco di Alcamo, wines from Rapitala, Cusumano, Principe di Corleaone etc.) but also other famous and great Italian wines.
My favorite wine is a red wine called Benoara, produced by the local wines producer Cusumano.
Written Feb 3, 2008
Address: Via Porta Palermo 106, Alcamo
This is a small bar where you can go at night and have drinks. Next to this bar there's also another one which is bigger and serves almost everything..
Dress Code: dress as you like here no one will complain ;)
Updated Sep 17, 2007
Address: via G. Garibaldi, Balestrate
Favorite thing: 19 March is an important day in Sicily. It’s the day dedicated to San Giuseppe, one of the most beloved saints, based on the way Sicilians are celebrating him. These celebrations are definitely having a kind of a spring flavor, as 19 March is also close to the spring equinox. The celebrations of the 19th of March started around 1400, and from 1600 they are connected with the name of San Giuseppe.
They are a lot of cities I Sicily where san Giuseppe is celebrated with the famous “I tavulate ‘I San Giuseppi”, because he’s also the protector of the poor’s, and the tradition is to prepare a lot of dishes and give them to poor people.
In a lot of cities they also use three “Saints”, symbol of the Sacred Family, walking around and tasting something from every dish.
In Balestrate they are a lot of families prepare a lot of dishes for the people passing by and they are honored if you taste and appreciate their efforts.
Fondest memory: Close to Balestrate there’s a city where this celebration is really special. I’m talking about Salemi. In Salemi all the people in town are participating to the preparative of this special “diner”: women are busy by baking special forms of bread (some of them are really pieces of art!) and men are building the altar in a shape of a chapel. The altar will be decorated with the bread in different shapes (flowers, fruit, the sun the moon etc.). In Salemi the 19th March is a mix of sacred and pagan, as there are celebrating San Giuseppe but also the ancient Greek goddess Ceres, protective the bread the everything the earth is giving to his labors.
Written Feb 3, 2008